EDITOR’S NOTE: “Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.
Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire.
Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season. Before heading out or to bed, blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
• Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
• Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
• Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini lights sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
• Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
• Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
• Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
• Candles or any open flame products should only be utilized in the company of an adult.
• Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
• Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
• Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
• Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
• Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.